Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced legislation that would make gender-affirming health care for children a federal crime.
The Protect Children's Innocence Act, which attracted 37 Republican co-sponsors, would prohibit puberty blockers or other medication, surgery and additional gender-affirming treatment as a felony comparable to child abuse, and opened up anyone who provides such care to civil liability.
"There's an ideology that is sexualizing children and pushing this among the most innocent kids, the most vulnerable in all of our society, and it has to end," Greene said. "We want to protect kids. Republicans are the party of protecting children."
A recent study showed gender-incongruent young people suffered from serious mental health issues when forced to proceed with puberty according to their assigned biological sex, while teens who had access to puberty blockers or other gender-affirming hormones experienced substantially better mental health outcomes that lasted well into adulthood.
"How on earth can this even be happening in America?" Greene said. "It's hard to understand, but the fact that the medical industry is making billions of dollars on these genital mutilation surgeries on kids is absolutely horrific. These are the things that nightmares are made of."
Gender-affirming surgery is currently recommended for patients who are at least 16 years old, and then only for mastectomies for transmasculine youths, but most individuals who undergo such procedures are over 18 years old, and Endocrine Society does not recommend genital surgery for minors.
With additional reporting by Matt Laslo